Everyone experiences tiredness at work sometimes. At some point (usually around 2:00 PM), you find yourself ready for a nap. Your energy fluctuates naturally throughout the day.
Productivity expert Chris Bailey charted his motivation, focus, and energy levels for 21 days and found that all three tend to spike between 7:00 and 8:00 AM, 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM, and 6:00 and 7:00 PM. For all those highs, he also noticed times when focus, energy, and motivation were nowhere to be found. Chris was tired at work.
Your peak productivity times may be different than Mr. Bailey’s, but the overall shape of your energetic graph would still look like a series of zigzags. The amount of sleep you have, the food you eat, and how you exercise are a few of the factors that cause rises and falls in your energy level.
You’re battling your biology when you don’t take a nap – Nap at work
We can fill up on caffeine and sugar as much as we want, but we’re fighting a natural downturn in energy when we do this. Most people feel fatigued in the latter half of the standard workday. Your tiredness may seem like an inconvenience, but it’s really your body telling you that it needs rest.
Our bodies operate on a natural clock called a circadian rhythm. This sleep/wake cycle is perfectly adapted to give us adequate sleep over the course of a 24-hour period. Natural light is the primary means that your body uses to assess whether or not you should be asleep.
Much to our collective chagrin, circadian rhythms do not coincide with the average 9 to 5 job. Irregular sleep schedules, the light from electronic devices, and natural light exposure can also affect the cycle. This is why people working the graveyard shift have an increased risk for developing health problems. They must remain awake when their body tells them it’s time for bed, and their sleep schedule is constantly disrupted when they try to stay awake on days off.
Neglecting to follow your circadian rhythms and not taking a nap go against your body’s natural balance.
Taking a nap is natural – Nap at work
We usually feel the most tired between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. This is the post-lunch crash that most of us try to fend off with sugary snacks or espressos. We’re also naturally more inclined to sleep between 2:00 AM and 4:00 AM, which is why waking someone up during that time can feel like raising the dead.